May 5, 2022
The Folly of Pushing South Korea Toward a China Containment Strategy
As the U.S. rushes toward a provocative and wrong-headed containment strategy on China, Washington should avoid pushing South Korea to choose between the two great powers, thereby minimizing the risk of a potential blowback that can hurt U.S. interests. American policymakers should recognize that South Korean elites too are driven more by policies that advance their national interests rather than by taking sides in a new cold war. This means that the U.S.–South Korea alliance ought to be viewed as aimed not at containing China, but at its traditional goals of stability on the Korean Peninsula and aiding American trade and investment, thereby retaining major U.S. influence in the region.